Tommy CarcettiTommy Carcetti's Journal
Go TU QUOQUE CRAZY for a FESTIVAL OF FALSE EQUIVALENCE!!! Bring your RED HERRINGS ONE AND ALL as you prepare to hear about EVERYTHING BUT THE INSURRECTION ON THE US CAPITOL!!!!!!!!!!
Just as I have, I'm sure if you've spoken to anyone on the right about the events of January 6th and the former office occupant's culpability therefore, one of the first arguments you almost certainly received in response was a "whataboutism" deflection.
More specifically, they would inevitably insist on pointing out about the various acts of vandalism, property damage or even violence that was attributed to the Black Lives Matter protests over the spring and summer 2020. They will then insist that not only did Democrats and individuals on the left not sufficiently denounce these acts, but they actually encouraged them. And that--they claim--somehow disqualifies them from claiming Trump should be held to account for incitement of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.
Naturally, such a disingenuous position only serves to create more questions than actually provide any good-faith discourse to the debate.
First--and speaking strictly from my personal perspective--I never condoned any acts of violence from anyone claiming to be associated with the BLM protests. I know most frequently these acts were associated with the "group" Antifa, which does not really exist on an actual structured and organizational level. I honestly don't know who the people were who did this or why they might have done it. Were they anarchists who simply enjoyed chaos for the sake of chaos? Were they right wing provocateurs who wanted to falsely paint the BLM protest movement as being violent or unruly? Were they people simply frustrated at what they saw as injustice and needed a pathway for their aggression? Or were they legitimately "true believers" who actually thought their acts were some sort of justifiable civil disobedience?
Honestly, I simply did not know. Nor did I care to know. Perhaps some others on this board might disagree, but I saw people who used the BLM movement as an excuse for property damage or violence to be selfish and self-sabotaging. That they were giving the right carte blanche the excuse to demonize BLM as something violent as opposed to what it really was--a peaceful (but not placid) protest movement rooted in justice for victims of injustice at the hand of the police, and a demand for reform and action (no matter how either artfully expressed or otherwise.) And with little room for error, allowing for any sort of unforced errors on our part just makes the ultimate goal all the more difficult.
But ultimately, all of this is a moo point. Ultimately, even at the very worst strawman-like depiction of the BLM movement from the Right, it still bears absolutely no comparison to the events of January 6th, on facts that are on their face undeniable.
BLM was an issue-based movement. It was never about one person, or one person's desire for power. It was never about any political party or candidate. No one was seeking to take control by means of the protests or the movement. Rather, it was a movement about seeking justice and reform. And while there were--for reasons I can't understand--some acts of chaos, vandalism and even violence that were ancillary to some of the otherwise peaceful protests, that was never central to the issue that drove the protests; if anything, it was in direct contradiction to such a message and supporters of the BLM movement could easily denounce those actions without compromising the mission.
On the other hand, the "Stop the Steal" events of January 6th were very much political. They were centered around a single person--namely, Donald Trump--and with a singular goal in mind: to see to it that Donald Trump remains the President no matter what the certified results of the election were. They literally were waiving flags with his name on them. There was no greater issue to them than one person. And even if they never breached the Capitol grounds, their mere presence in DC was still to make it known that they demanded Trump remain President.
At its very worst, BLM was a protest movement with some unfortunate offshoots of violence associated with it (for whatever reasons). It was, however, never an insurrection. It did not seek to topple the democratic order in the country.
January 6th, on the other hand, was nothing but an insurrection. It was an attempted coup and it acted to serve the interests of only one man.
In short: Where as BLM attempted to advance an issue in spite of associated violence, January 6th was defined by its violence; it was the central essence to what it really was.
Even under the most objective of considerations, there simply can be no comparison of the two.
Chef Jose Andres.
He epitomizes what the award is truly about.
On edit, in case you haven't heard of him:
In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen which provides healthy food to families and individuals touched by disasters. Since it was founded, the NGO has organized meals in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, Cuba, Uganda, and in Cambodia. It has provided aid and meals in the United States and Puerto Rico and has helped during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
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